Statements from Holy See
  Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity
Dec 8, 2007 by
Congregation for the Clergy

Sanctification of Clergy Letter -Card. Hummes Dec 8, 2007
Explanatory Note on Eucharistic adoration-Cong. Clergy, Dec 8, 2007
Cardinal Hummes explains spiritual motherhood
Jan 2008
Pray to the Lord of the Harvest

-Benedict XVI, Sept, 2006
All the above docs. at the Cong. Clergy sitee

Letter- World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests
Card. Hummes, April 22, 2008

Mothers of Priests -Card. Piacenza, 2013

Benedict XVI
Today too the Church receives great benefit from the exercise of spiritual motherhood by so many women, lay and consecrated, who nourish souls with thoughts of God, who strengthen the people's faith and direct Christian life towards ever loftier peaks. (General Audience, Nov 24. 2010)  Benedict XVI backs spiritual mothers for priests

Priests & women
Collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world -CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger, 2004

Praying for priests:A mission -book by Kathleen Beckman. Her website

Spiritual Motherhood for Priests -Fr. Kirby

Women who influenced popes and bishops.

St. Catherine and St. Therese speak to priests -Cardinal Moreira

Sorrowful-Mysteries-for priests


Love Crucified Logo

logoSpiritual Mothers for priests

"Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the Heart of God but it passes through the heart of a mother". -Pope St. Pius X

The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy's letter to all the bishops of the Church states: "The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, not withstanding its fundamental and vitally important. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life." -8 December, 2007>>>

Spiritual motherhood was established by Christ at Calvary when he joined the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John as mother and son (Cf. Jn. 19-26-27). Spiritual mothers for priests continue this Marian vocation as called forth by the Congregation for the Clergy (See Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity 

The Holy Spirit unites women with Mary to participate in her maternity for priests. They offer their lives for the sanctification of priests. It is a vocation that must be lived in the heart of Mary, imitating her virtues, specially purity, humility and sacrifice. Spiritual mothers relate to priests with the heart of Mary, drawing with her graces from Jesus at the Cross.

God the Son wishes to form Himself, and, in a manner of speaking, become incarnate every day in His members through His dear Mother. -St. Louis Marie de Montfort 1  

All priests need a spiritual mother
Cardinal Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, 2008, wrote:
"We cannot do without a spiritual motherhood for our priestly life...
It has always silently accompanied the chosen ranks of priests in the course of the Church's history. It is the concrete entrustment of our ministry to a specific face, to a consecrated soul who has been called by Christ and therefore chooses to offer herself, with the necessary suffering and the inevitable struggles of life, to intercede for our priestly existence, thereby dwelling in Christ's sweet presence". >>>

Like Mary, all women have the gift to be mothers beyond natural child bearing.
t. Theresa Benedicta: "Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened". St.T.B, 1928.

As a spiritual mother receives the grace to live her vocation, her maternity expands. She joins to Christ her daily shores for the sake of her spritual sons as well as for all those that God has placed in her life.  The women who accompnied Jesus were spiritual mothers.

Who can be a spiritual mother for priests
Spiritual mothers may be married, religious, widowed, single, young or old. It is a vocation from God, not a right. We discover the call as we strive to abandon our lives to God.

They are organized in different ways. Some are associated at the diocesan level (Tulsa OK >>>), some belong to a lay community such as our Mothers of the Cross or other groups >>>, Some live this charism without associating with other spiritual mothers.

Spiritual mothers:
1- Unite their daily chores with Jesus and Mary,
 offering themselves in reparation, intercession and thanksgiving for the restoration of their families, priests and all.  

2- Encourage their sons, like Mary did, to embrace the Cross. They do not spoil their sons. Mary also went to Calvary with St. John and wants to take every priest to unite them with her Son. Other examples: The mother who encouraged each of her sons to become a martyr. "Although she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord." (2 Maccabees 7). Also St. Rita, who asked God for the death of her sons if that would prevent them from becoming murderers.

3- Pray that priests may radiate Christ in everything; they pray for those priests who seldom pray; for those who have fallen into sin and vices; for the deliverance of priests who are oppressed, depressed, in despair; for those who have lost their love for the Lord; for the perseverance of all. She also prays for those who have been hurt, alienated or scandalized by priests; for the sheep who do not have a good shepherd.
Prayer includes adoration for those who do not adore. She pleads with Mary that priests may "worship in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24) and therefore be pure priest-victims united to Christ. Also reparation to console the wounded heart of Jesus who grieves over the coldness, offenses and betrayals of his priests and waits for them to return to His merciful embrace. 

4- Seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those who have forgotten her.

The above reminds us of the prayer the angel taught the children of Fatima in preparation to Mary's visit: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You">>

Congregation for the Clergy (Vatican):
We are asking, therefore, all diocesan Ordinaries who apprehend in a particular way the specificity and irreplaceability of the ordained ministry in the life of the Church, together with the urgency of a common action in support of the ministerial priesthood, to take an active role and promote – in the different portions of the People of God entrusted to them - true and proper cenacles in which clerics, religious and lay people - united among themselves in the spirit of true communion – may devote themselves to prayer, in the form of continuous Eucharistic adoration in a spirit of genuine and authentic reparation and purification. Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity, 2007

"With all my heart I wish to encourage and offer special thanks to all mothers of priests and seminarians - and along with them to all consecrated and lay women who have received... the gift of spiritual motherhood towards those who are called to priestly ministry. By offering their lives, their prayers, their sufferings and their hardships as well as their joys for the fidelity and sanctification of God’s ministers, they have come to share in a special way in the motherhood of Holy Church, whose model and fulfillment is found in the divine maternity of Mary Most Holy." -Cardinal Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, 2012: >>>

"The entire Church looks with admiration and deep gratitude upon all mothers of priests"  Ibid.>>>

Mothers of the Cross -The women of our community are called Mothers of the Cross. They are spiritual mothers for priests who, united with Mary, offer themselves to God at the cross as victims with Christ the Victim.

Spiritual Mothers: Icons of Mary and the Church -Pope Francis
Hidden Force, the power and wisdom of Godd
-Lourdes Pinto-Lourdes Pinto
The power of the daily hidden life when offered with Mary.
Holy Mothers lineage  -Jacqueline
Can a woman bless a priest? Certainly! Testimony of Cardinal O'Malley

Exemplar Spiritual Mothers for priests
(See also saints)

Ven. Conchita Cabrera de Armida:
Jesus told her: "..I want souls who are dedicated with fervor, with determination and without looking for rest, to plead day and night for My priests"

St. Faustina
Jesus entrusted priests and religious to St. Faustina and her companions. He said: "You will pray particularly for them; their power will come from your diminishment. You will join prayers, fasts, mortifications, labors and all sufferings to My prayer, fasting, mortifications, labors and sufferings and then they will have power before My Father." -Diary #531.
St. Catherine of Sienna and St. ThereseSt Catherine of Sienna and St Therese -Card. Moreria Neves
Jesus told St. Catherine that, to confound the arrogance of men, He would raise up woman.
Who would have thought that God’s way of renewing the priesthood would be through spiritual mothers! But for the priest to benefit from this grace they have to humbly receive the grace of spiritual motherhood and recognize when the Lord works through them. Jesus told St. Catherine of Siena:

I will raise up women ignorant and frail by nature but endowed with strength and divine wisdom. Then, if they (proud men) will come to their senses and humble themselves, I will behave with the utmost mercy towards them, that is to say, towards those who, according to the grace given them, receive my doctrine, offered them in fragile but specially chosen vessels, and follow it reverently… For indeed it is only just that those who try to exalt themselves should be humbled.1

St Therese's love oblation for priests
St Gemma

Blessed Mother Deluil Martiny, “To offer yourself for souls is beautiful and great,” “but to offer yourself for the souls of priests is so beautiful, so great, that you would have to have a thousand lives and offer your heart a thousand times. . . . I would gladly give my life if only Christ could find in priests what he is expecting from them. I would gladly give it even if just one of them could perfectly realize God’s divine plan for him" 

The most important person on earth is a mother.
She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not.  She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral-a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body… The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God's creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…What on God's good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?

-Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

Little Catechism on Spiritual Motherhood
Spiritual Motherhood explained:
A Spiritual Mother for priest's view
Apostolate of women -
Fr Hardon
Spiritual Maidenhood -Therese Celmer

Spiritual mothers of priests make their oblation at Tulsa This can be done in other dioceses with the bishop's approval
Understanding Spiritual Motherhood Mary Kaufman, Vocation and Prayer Magazine, Jan/Mar 2010

LINKS to other Spiritual Motherhood for priests pages

"I would like the soul of the Priest
To look like the heavenly Seraphim
I would like him to be born anew
Before going up to the altar."

"In order to obtain this miracle
Some souls near the tabernacle
Praying unceasingly
Should offer themselves
to me every day."
-Words of Jesus from a play by St Therese


1 Quoted in God Alone: The Collected writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1987), 298.